Le’Veon Bell Flaked On Steelers Deal?

We learned shortly after the franchise tender extension deadline that Le’Veon Bell turned down a lucrative contract offer from the Steelers. Apparently, things weren’t that cut and dry. On July 17, Steelers officials thought they had reached agreement with Bell’s agent on a five-year deal. However, at the last minute, Bell nixed the contract, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Meanwhile, agent Adisa Bakari says he and his client never had any agreement with the Steelers. “All stories to contrary are false,” he told ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Le'Veon Bell (vertical)

The deal would have given Bell more than $12MM annually on average and roughly $30MM across the first two years, Bouchette hears. According to previous reports, he would have seen ~$42MM over the first three seasons. Sources tell Bouchette that Bell said no because he is pushing for $15MM annually, a sum that he first demanded in a rap track recorded last year.

I’m not a real greedy guy. I don’t play football just for money or things like that. I just want to be valued — whether it’s $15 million or lower or higher, whatever it is,” Bell told ESPN after releasing his song. “I think we will get to an agreement eventually.”

Bell is slated to play out the year on the one-year, $12.12MM tender. He is currently staying away from the team, but it is expected that he will be back before the start of the regular season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Le’Veon Bell Flaked On Steelers Deal?

  1. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Bell is waiting until the last possible second to sign his tender so he can avoid drug tests for as long as possible so he can enjoy his summer as much as possible.

    The “holdout” has nothing to do with any reason beyond that.

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    • JT19

      The Steelers’ offer is more than fair. When it was first offered, it was the biggest contract for a running back ever with a three year value of $42m (for comparison’s sake, McCoy was the next highest three year value for a RB at about $28m; before the Freeman extension) and the offer still would’ve been the biggest running back contract post Freeman-extension. Don’t get me wrong, Bell is right up there as one of the top 2-3 running backs in the league so his talent is definitely deserving of a big contract, but he comes with plenty of injury and suspension issues.

      At this point, the Steelers can’t even offer the contract anymore since the deadline to extend franchise tagged players has passed. At this point, Bell is holding out just to skip the preseason. He’s not under contract technically so its not like potential fines are an issue. The best the Steelers could even do at this point is come to a “handshake agreement” where they promise to offer Bell a certain contract when he becomes eligible to receive an extension, but either side could back out of the deal since it wouldn’t be an official deal.

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    • stillerfan

      They already offer to pay the dude. I say give him 500 touches this year , tender him 500 more touches, and draft his replacement. His greed isn’t going away. That’s assuming he Can stay healthy. Big?

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  2. JT19

    “I’m not a greedy guy”. Gets offered the biggest contract for a running back with a three year value that was something like $15 million more than the next highest paid running back (McCoy; this was before the Freeman extension) and turns it down because he wants more money.

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  3. steelman

    Pay the man? The Steelers offered a contract that was much more than fair. If he wants 15 then he would need to find it somewhere else. A contract that he repays the Steelers if he receives another suspension . If not a greedy guy? Come on Bell get to camp and act like a Steeler or follow the mike Wallace way out of Pittsburgh!

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    • ckguffyiii

      The Steelers offered him 15 guaranteed. Devonte Freeman just got 28 guaranteed in his contract, so no it was not a fair offer. They can say they offered him whatever amount per year but the guarantee is all that matters

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  4. Hannibal8us

    All the guys calling him greedy make me laugh, he plays arguably the most destructive position in football and he’s the best in the league at it. He knows this is probably his last big contract in his prime so why not go for it all. He’s certainly as valuable to the steelers as AB so why shouldn’t he demand AB type money? The NFLs pay scale is dumb when it comes to WRs earning more than workhorse RBs.

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  5. Connorsoxfan

    The problem has to be the guaranteed $$ because otherwise it’s about what I would expect on a total and per year basis.

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  6. MacMcCullough13

    Let’s just all agree that all black people cant rap. His is terrible.

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